The education sector in India has grown tremendously since independence. In fact, there have been significant improvements made across different indicators in the sector. This has only magnified since 2002 when the right to education was added as a Fundamental Right in Article 21-A in the Constitution of India.
India has been successful in achieving near-universal access for 199 million children, school infrastructure has increased to 1.4 million schools and 98% habitations in the country have an upper primary school within three kilometres walking distance. However, several issues pertaining to the quality of education, the relevance of curriculum, lack of learning and accountability as well as non-committed or impassionate teachers have been hurdles in the evolution of the Indian education system.
While the government is working extensively towards solving these issues, contributions by the corporates have played a major role in addressing some of these issues effectively. In fact, the structured and strategic approach of businesses utilizing their CSR funds to address the issues within the education sector has generated long-term benefits for the country.
In this regard, let us take a look at some of the CSR initiatives in education in the year 2022.
SKF India’s ‘Lab-on-a-Bike’ program in Bihar
Technology and solutions provider of bearings and services SKF India has launched ‘Lab-on-a-Bike’ programme in Bihar under its WeGyaan STEM learning initiative. To be implemented by Agastya International Foundation, the ‘Lab-on-a-Bike’ program is expected to reach out to more than 2000 students across 18 government schools in Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi districts with an aim to make STEM education accessible, as per an announcement made last week.
The ‘Lab-on-a-Bike’ program aims to spark interest in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue related careers. It will also help develop skills like critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving capabilities among students.
The program will train teachers equipping them with resources, skills, and knowledge on STEM subjects to help them enhance the learning experience of children. It also offers several on-ground engagement initiatives with local communities and families on the importance of STEM education and related careers, read the announcement.
UST expands Vidyadhan Program across five states
Digital transformations solutions company UST announced earlier this month that they have doubled their sponsorship budget for the Vidyadhan Program, to cover additional students from four new states – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra, apart from Kerala. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between UST and Vidyadhan in this regard to double the sponsorship budget.
The UST – Vidyadhan partnership started in 2018 with scholarship support for 100 engineering students from Kerala. UST claims to have sponsored 306 students under Vidyadhan till date.
HMD Global and Shikhar Dhawan Foundation’s initiative to promote e-learning
Finnish mobile phone manufacturer HMD Global has partnered with Shikhar Dhawan Foundation to distribute smart devices to under-privileged students of Delhi NCR region with an aim to support e-learning in India for children having affordability and accessibility issue. The first drive of device distribution was held at Gurugram on 19th September this year.
This CSR initiative is a part of HMD Global and ShikharDhawan Foundation’s endeavor to promote e-learning for under-privileged students in India where they are not able to afford such devices due to price constraints, claims a joint announcement made last week.
Ashok Leyland extends its CSR initiative ‘From Road to School to Road to Livelihood’
Commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland Limited, flagship of the Hinduja Group, launched the ‘Road to Livelihood’ initiative as an extension of its current ‘Road to School’ program under its CSR commitment in September this year. The ‘Road to Livelihood’ program will focus on students in grade 9 to 12 and help them prepare for meaningful opportunities post their school finals. Its primary objective is to get them on a path of sustainable livelihood.
These students will receive structured interventions focused on spoken English, digital skills, employability skills and most important of all, career counseling. The program will be rolled out in 133 schools in Thiruvallur, Salem, Namakkal and Krishnagiri Districts as per their recent announcement.
Schaeffler India empowers the engineers of tomorrow with H.O.P.E Scholarship
Industrial and automotive supplier Schaeffler India Limited announced the launch of the fourth edition of its flagship H.O.P.E Engineering scholarship programme in August, this year. This initiative is expected to provide up to INR 75,000 in financial aid to engineering students from economically weaker sections of society so they can complete their education, empowering them to become the leading engineers of tomorrow.
The program is implemented by Buddy4Study. Online applications for the scholarship were open from 12th August to 15th September, 2022.
Hyundai Motor India Foundation’s ‘Mobile Youth Library and Science Lab’
Hyundai Motor India Foundation (HMIF), the philanthropic arm of Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) flagged off 5 ‘Mobile Youth Library and Science Labs’ from its Headquarters in Gurgaon in August, this year.
This new initiative launched by HMIF is expected to provide access to quality education in rural areas of UP. The vans would travel to Gazipur, Gonda, Lalitpur, Shamli and Shahjahanpur districts, where they would be reaching out to 60 schools in all districts touching approximately 16000 students, as per an announcement made by Hyundai.
The vans are equipped with 500 books, 100 experiments, an instructor and 2 librarians who will reportedly engage students in the schools through reading sessions and live science experiments (related to Physics, Chemistry, and Biology) suited for students from 6th to 9th standard.
The announcement further claimed that school teachers will be trained to conduct these experiments to continue the experience in absence of the van. During school hours, the van will be placed in a school, while in the evening it will travel to a community centre to engage with children and adults who are interested in studying but don’t have the means.
The initiative will be expanded in a phased manner in other parts of the state and in select areas across the country, Hyundai claimed in the announcement. Their goal is raising awareness on the significance of education among underprivileged children and teachers.
MoU Signed Between District Administration Nuh and M3M Foundation for Smart Class in Government Schools
M3M Foundation signed an MoU with the District Administration Nuh to develop 20 government schools as Smart Class in the Nuh district of Haryana in August, this year. While the smart classroom setup will be reportedly provided by NITI Aayog, M3M Foundation will support with capacity building of teachers as well as the preparation of the curriculum.
Under the agreement, the M3M Foundation will be responsible for strengthening the infrastructure of 20 government schools in Nuh, under its flagship ‘Saakshar’ program. The foundation will also facilitate all furniture support, by providing the chairs, desks as well as the digital support, through PCs and laptops for the schools. They are also expected to provide a prescribed number of teachers in schools that do not have any, with the aim to improve the academic performance of all the students.
Sitare Foundation to sponsor 100 Underprivileged Students
Sitare Foundation, a pan India educational NGO announced the results of its 2022 annual entrance exams in July this year. The foundation announced that they have selected about 100 students based on entrance exams conducted in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal and Indore.
Majority of these selected students are from government schools and their families earn less than Rs 25,000 a month. For selection in the foundation’s program, children have to undergo an extremely comprehensive evaluation process which includes an entrance exam, followed by a two-week educational camp to test children’s in-class performance, and a thorough background check.
PrepLadder offering free tutoring to UPSC aspirants
Online learning platform PrepLadder announced in June this year that it will provide free coaching to UPSC aspirants who passed the UPSC CSE Prelims 2022, enabling them to move one step closer to pursuing their aspirations.
PrepLadder shared that they will provide the crash course with comprehensive training and immersive coaching experience to all ambitious aspirants. The array of offerings includes Holistic Coverage of Important Topics via video lectures, Mains Q Bank covering all GS Papers, All India Mains Test Series (10 Full-length GS Papers), Model Answers for Mains PYQs (2013-20), leveraging well-researched and effective lesson plans. Students from across the nation can take avail this while prepping for the mains.
CNH Industrial’s educational support to underprivileged students
CNH Industrial announced in June this year that they have further expanded their CSR initiatives to support the education of socio-economically disadvantaged students with three projects in India.
Partnering with the NGO Buddy 4 Study, Project Unnati aims to provide financial assistance to some 70 school children and students from 30 Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Gurgaon and Noida who have experienced significant economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes a mentorship program whereby CNH Industrial employees will mentor and guide the students with their knowledge, experience and skills.
Project Udaan was launched in March 2022. In collaboration with the NGO Katalyst, the project aims to empower socio-economically disadvantaged women by providing scholarship support for four years of engineering college. The program includes a 600-hour proprietary and scientifically researched curriculum focused on developing soft skills, communication, English proficiency, career readiness, corporate etiquette, technical skills and advanced technology.
Mission Education is an additional project, started in 2016 and has till date benefitted around 260 students with free education, books and infrastructure support, claims an announcement made by CNH Industrial.